Current Studies on Morpho-Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics: A View from the South American Lowlands and Beyond

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 9327

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Linguistics, University of Southern California, Grace Ford Salvatori 301, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1693, USA
Interests: morphosyntax; semantics; prosody

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Linguistics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 1A1, Canada
Interests: semantics; morphosyntax; Guarani languages

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Although Indigenous languages of the Americas have played an important role in linguistic theory, South American Indigenous languages are still largely under-represented in formal studies of morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. At the same time, a growing number of researchers are combining rigorous language documentation and description with formal analyses of these languages. The purpose of this volume is to showcase this new research, with a focus on languages of the South American lowlands, including the Amazon and Paraná basins, and of the Brazilian highlands (e.g., Baker & Camargo Souza 2020, Clem 2019, Carol & Salanova 2019, Müller & Sanchez-Mendez 2020, Pancheva & Zubizarreta 2020, Salanova & Tallman 2021, Singerman 2019).

Thematically, the volume will contain contributions on the morpho-syntax and semantics/pragmatics of switch reference, evidentiality, subordination, and events. The volume will include manuscripts that advance our knowledge of the target languages, while making significant contributions to linguistic theory in the fields of morpho-syntax and semantics/pragmatics.

The volume should attract a wide readership of researchers and students interested in linguistic theory and in the structure of languages of South America. The research published in the volume should be accessible to any reader with graduate training in formal linguistics.

Tentative completion schedule:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 30 March 2022
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 15 April 2022
  • Full manuscript deadline: 1 October 2022

References

Baker, Mark and Livia Camargo Souza. 2020. Agree without Agreement: Switch-reference and reflexive voice in two Panoan languages. Natural Language & Linguist Theory 38, 1053–1114.

Clem, Emily. 2019. Amahuaca ergative as agreement with multiple heads. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 37(3):785-823.

Carol, Javier Jerónimo and Andres Salanova. 2019. Los frustativos como aspecto. Un análisis a partir del chorote (mataguayo) y el mẽbengokre (jê). Signo y Seña 36:23-43.

Müller, Ana and Luciana Sanchez‐Mendes. 2020. Pluractionality: the phenomenon, the issues, and a case study. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Semantics, 1-34.

Pancheva, Roumyana and Maria Luisa Zubizarreta (2020). “Temporal reference in the absence of tense in Paraguayan Guaraní”, In In M. Asatryan, Y. Song, A. Whitmal (eds.) Proceedings of NELS 50 265-278.

Salanova, Andrés Pablo and Adam Tallman. 2021. Nominalizations, case domains, and restructuring in two Amazonian languages. In Artemis Alexiadou and Hagit Borer (eds.), Nominalization: 50 Years on from Chomsky's Remarks. Oxford University Press, 363-390.

Singerman, Adam Roth. 2019. Non-witnessed evidentiality in Tuparí and its connection to resultative constructions in the perfect aspect. International Journal of American Linguistics 85(3):401–445.

Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa Zubizarreta
Dr. Guillaume Thomas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • South American languages
  • switch reference
  • evidentiality
  • subordination
  • events

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

59 pages, 2235 KiB  
Article
Clause-linkage, Embeddedness, and Nominalizations in Chácobo (Pano)
by Adam James Ross Tallman
Languages 2024, 9(3), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages9030093 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 987
Abstract
As with all Pano languages, Chácobo links clauses together through an elaborate system of switch reference clauses. This paper provides a detailed description of switch reference and clause linkage in Chácobo (Pano) from a typological perspective. While previous work on Chácobo and Pano [...] Read more.
As with all Pano languages, Chácobo links clauses together through an elaborate system of switch reference clauses. This paper provides a detailed description of switch reference and clause linkage in Chácobo (Pano) from a typological perspective. While previous work on Chácobo and Pano languages in general describes such clause-linkage strategies as involving subordination, no work has provided a detailed description of the diagnostics for classifying clause-linkage types with clause-linkage strategies in Pano. If these variables are relied on, nearly all clause-linkage strategies in Chácobo fall outside of typical coordination and subordinate patterns. There is also little reason to adopt such a distinction on language-internal grounds. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 423 KiB  
Article
The Orientation of Evidentials in Attitude Contexts: A Case Study Based on Narratives in Paraguayan Guarani
by Roumyana Pancheva and Maria Luisa Zubizarreta
Languages 2024, 9(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages9020044 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1145
Abstract
This paper examines the orientation of evidentials in complements of attitude verbs, with Paraguayan Guarani evidential ra’e as a case study. It argues that embedded evidentials can be directed either towards the speaker or towards a matrix attitude-holder argument (e.g., the subject of [...] Read more.
This paper examines the orientation of evidentials in complements of attitude verbs, with Paraguayan Guarani evidential ra’e as a case study. It argues that embedded evidentials can be directed either towards the speaker or towards a matrix attitude-holder argument (e.g., the subject of the attitude verb) and that a syntactic representation of the evidence-acquisition event, with its pronominal subject, in the lower end of the CP field, is well-poised to capture this potential ambiguity. Language-particular properties can also play a determining role in the orientation of the embedded evidential, as is the case of the subordinator ha in Paraguayan Guarani. It is argued that this subordinator requires the presence of a Complementizer specified with a (strong) Modal component (which encodes certainty/commitment on the part of the attitude holder with respect to the embedded proposition) and that this property biases the orientation of ra’e towards the matrix attitude-holder argument. Full article
23 pages, 2305 KiB  
Article
The *t-V-ce System of the Carib Languages and the Kuikuro Resultative Participle
by Gelsama Mara Ferreira Dos Santos and Bruna Franchetto
Languages 2024, 9(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages9020034 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1136
Abstract
In the Kuikuro language (Upper Xingu Carib), the construction tü-/ t-verb-i/-ti/-si/-stress is a reflex of the Carib proto-construction *t-V-ce, often labeled as a ‘participle’. It is a morphological form composed of a prefix and a set of allomorphic suffixes [...] Read more.
In the Kuikuro language (Upper Xingu Carib), the construction tü-/ t-verb-i/-ti/-si/-stress is a reflex of the Carib proto-construction *t-V-ce, often labeled as a ‘participle’. It is a morphological form composed of a prefix and a set of allomorphic suffixes that attach to transitive, intransitive, transitivized, or detransitivized verb stems. In this paper, the construction tü-/ t-verb-i/-ti/-si/-stress is described and analyzed as a resultative denoting a grammatically represented result of an event that is the background of a subsequent foregrounded event. We argue that, in Kuikuro, the participial verb inflection has aspectual value and we define the construction tü-/ t-verb-i/-ti/-si/-stress as participial resultative aspect. Unlike in English, in Kuikuro, an ergative language, the resultative participial forms of transitive and transitivized verb stems license their external arguments. A description of the morphosyntax, semantics, and uses of Kuikuro participial forms precedes a final theoretically based approach that departs from Embick’s analysis of English participles. Our proposal for the analysis of the resultative participles in Kuikuro emphasizes the importance of this phenomenon for a comparison inside the Carib family and for ergative languages regarding the relationship between transitive resultative participles and ergativity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 436 KiB  
Article
Factive Entailments and Clausal Complementation in Karitiana
by Karin Vivanco and Maria del Mar Bassa Vanrell
Languages 2023, 8(4), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8040234 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 989
Abstract
Attitude verbs describe mental states of their subject in relation to a proposition codified by their clausal complement. In this paper, we describe the behavior of such verbs in Karitiana, a Tupian language spoken in Brazil. Recently, it has been noted in the [...] Read more.
Attitude verbs describe mental states of their subject in relation to a proposition codified by their clausal complement. In this paper, we describe the behavior of such verbs in Karitiana, a Tupian language spoken in Brazil. Recently, it has been noted in the literature that embedded clauses with nominal features seem to lead to a factive reading of these verbs. In Karitiana, all embedded clauses are nominalized since they lack many clausal features, and conversely exhibit nominal distribution and behavior. We propose a structure with an N head for embedded clauses in Karitiana, which accounts for their morphological behavior and also explains why these constructions behave as strong islands. Judgments of contradiction with attitude verbs of Karitiana were collected and the results show that they fall into two categories: one that obligatorily entails the truth of the embedded clause and another that favors it, but that does not require it obligatorily. This shows that nominalization of embedded clauses seems to be tied to the presence of factive entailments, but this alone is not a sufficient condition to force a factive reading of the matrix attitude verb. Full article
16 pages, 1579 KiB  
Article
Pluractionality of Events in Macuxi: A Morpho-Syntactic and Semantic Analysis
by Gregory Antono, Francisco França Miguel Makusi, Isabella Coutinho Costa and Suzi Lima
Languages 2023, 8(4), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8040225 - 22 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1088
Abstract
This paper discusses how pluractionality is expressed in Macuxi (Cariban), a South American Indigenous language spoken in Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. Cross-linguistically, the multiplicity of an action can be expressed by means of specialized pluractional morphemes affixed on verbs, via adverbs, or by [...] Read more.
This paper discusses how pluractionality is expressed in Macuxi (Cariban), a South American Indigenous language spoken in Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. Cross-linguistically, the multiplicity of an action can be expressed by means of specialized pluractional morphemes affixed on verbs, via adverbs, or by reduplication. Previous work on Macuxi claimed that the iterative suffix -pîtî indicates a multiplicity of actions, whereas verbal reduplication is mentioned but scarcely described, and is associated with the interpretation of multiple events. Based on data from context-based elicitation, we show that verbal reduplication is impacted by Aktionsart (activity and semelfactive verbs, which denote unbounded, atelic events, have a higher tendency to be reduplicated) and that reduplicated verbs are often associated with an intensity interpretation. On the other hand, the suffix -pîtî functions as a pluractional marker that encodes a multiplicity of events and is predictable via a Lasersohnian analysis. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

36 pages, 652 KiB  
Article
The Forms and Functions of Switch Reference in A’ingae
by Scott AnderBois, Daniel Altshuler and Wilson D. L. Silva
Languages 2023, 8(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020137 - 26 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1621
Abstract
This paper examines switch reference (SR) in A’ingae, an understudied isolate language from Amazonian Ecuador. We present a theoretically informed survey of SR, identifying three distinct uses of switch reference: in clause chaining, adverbial clauses, and so-called ‘bridging’ clause linkage. We describe the [...] Read more.
This paper examines switch reference (SR) in A’ingae, an understudied isolate language from Amazonian Ecuador. We present a theoretically informed survey of SR, identifying three distinct uses of switch reference: in clause chaining, adverbial clauses, and so-called ‘bridging’ clause linkage. We describe the syntactic and semantic properties of each use in detail, the first such description for A’ingae, showing that the three constructions differ in important ways. While leaving a full syntactic analysis to future work, we argue that these disparate properties preclude a syntactic account that unifies these three constructions to the exclusion of other environments without SR. Conversely, while a full semantic account is also left to future work, we suggest that a unified semantic account in terms of discourse coherence principles appears more promising. In particular, we propose that switch reference in A’ingae occurs in all and only the constructions that are semantically restricted to non-structuring coordinating coherence relations in the sense of Segmented Discourse Representation Theory. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 875 KiB  
Article
The Expression of Time in Amahuaca Switch-Reference Clauses
by Emily Clem
Languages 2023, 8(2), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8020134 - 26 May 2023
Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Many languages of lowland South America mark remoteness distinctions in their TAM systems. In Amahuaca (Panoan; Peru) multiple remoteness distinctions are made in the past and the future. I argue that the temporal remoteness morphemes (TRMs) of Amahuaca can be understood as indications [...] Read more.
Many languages of lowland South America mark remoteness distinctions in their TAM systems. In Amahuaca (Panoan; Peru) multiple remoteness distinctions are made in the past and the future. I argue that the temporal remoteness morphemes (TRMs) of Amahuaca can be understood as indications of the remoteness of the event time relative to the utterance time in matrix environments. In dependent clauses, however, the picture is more complicated. By exploring adjunct switch-reference clauses, I show that TRMs in dependent clauses display a previously unreported ambiguity reminiscent of ambiguities found with adjunct tense. Specifically, they can relate the time of the adjunct clause event to the time of the matrix event or to the utterance time. I suggest that this ambiguity may arise from the availability of multiple interpretation sites for adjunct TRMs, with the possible interpretations being constrained by the temporal semantics of switch-reference markers themselves. This work thus contributes to the empirical understanding of how TRMs are interpreted in dependent clauses, suggesting interesting potential parallels to the interpretation of adjunct tense. Full article
Back to TopTop